Sunday, September 22, 2013

What exactly is critical thinking? (36)

1. Summarize. Extract and restate the material’s main message or central point. Use only what you see, read or hear. Add nothing.

2. Analyze. Examine the material by breaking it into its component parts. By seeing each part of the whole as a distinct unit, you discover how the parts interrelate. Consider the line of reasoning as shown by the EVIDENCE offered and logic used. Read “between the lines” to draw INFERENCES, gaining information that’s implied but not stated. When reading or listening, notice how the reading or speaking style and the choice of words work together to create a TONE.

3. Synthesize. Pull together what you’ve summarized and analyzed by connecting it to your own experiences, such as reading, talking with others, watching television and films, using the Internet, and so on. In this way, you create a new whole that reflects your newly acquired knowledge and insights combined with your prior knowledge.

4. Evaluate. Judge the quality of the material now that you’ve become informed through the activities of SUMMARY, ANALYSIS, and SYNTHESIS. Resist the very common urge to evaluate before you summarize, analyze, and synthesize.

Another way to think about critical thinking, is to think RED:

How do we ensure our students are given ample opportunities to think critically? 

Do the activities in our classes allow for thinking critically? 

How can we increase the number of activities that encourage out students to think critically...?

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